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Heavy Meta Poisoning
Supernatural is truth
Supernatural Gender and Race breakdown for S3 
17th-May-2008 11:07 pm
GG - Science
Gender Breakdown of Alignment of Supernatural S3 Characters
Alignment F
M


No % No % Difference
Evil 5 9% 8 10% -1%
Good 7 12% 8 10% 3%
Neutral 35 61% 44 53% 8%
Not Known 3 5% 12 14% -9%
Possessed 7 12% 11 13% -1%
Total 57
83


Gender Breakdown of Fate of Supernatural S3 Characters
Fate F
M


No % No % Difference
Alive 17 30% 22 27% 3%
Dead 22 39% 42 51% -12%
Not Known 3 5% 13 16% -10%
Survived 15 26% 6 7% 19%
Total 57
83


Race Breakdown of Alignment of Supernatural S3 Characters
Alignment Not PoC
PoC


No % No % Difference
Evil 12 11% 1 7% 4%
Good 8 7% 6 43% -36%
Neutral 67 61% 3 21% 40%
Not Known 7 6% 1 7% -1%
Possessed 15 14% 3 21% -8%
Total 109
14


Race Breakdown of Fate of Supernatural S3 Characters
Fate Not PoC
PoC


No % No % Difference
Alive 30 28% 2 14% 13%
Dead 54 50% 8 57% -8%
Not Known 7 6% 2 14% -8%
Survived 18 17% 2 14% 2%
Total 109
14


In Summary there were proportionately:
  • More Neutral Women than Men
  • More Dead Men than Women
  • More Women had to Survive attacks than Men
  • More Good People of Colour than Caucasian
  • Less Neutral People of Colour than Caucasian
  • More Possessed People of Colour than Caucasian
  • Less Alive People of Colour than Caucasian
  • More Dead People of Colour than Caucasian
Please note:
  1. Not enough numbers for significant statistical analysis; certainly enough for case by case discussion.
  2. Totals do not always add to 100% - this is due to rounding.
  3. The numbers in red are highlighting any variation over 5%, this is for convenience and has no deep, mysterious statistical significance.
Breakdown of Deaths according to Gender and presentation of death.
Sexy Death? Female   Male    
  Number % Number % Difference
No 18 82% 45 98% -16%
Yes 4 18% 1 2% 16%
Total 22   46    

*Raw Data
Comments 
17th-May-2008 05:17 pm (UTC)
Ooh, thanks for doing all this! People have always been telling me that women died more than men on this show, but I never saw it. This must have taken a lot of time, so thanks again. It's nice to see some facts.
17th-May-2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
People have always been telling me that women died more than men on this show, but I never saw it. This must have taken a lot of time, so thanks again. It's nice to see some facts.

Seconded!!! :D!!!
18th-May-2008 05:25 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I've responded to overstreets below if you're interested.
18th-May-2008 06:05 am (UTC)
Oh man, I've just been interested in the numbers for a while. Statistics and such make my numbers-focused brain very very happy. <3 But w/r/t your comment to misty, I'll have to step away, 'cause my interpretation and perception of the show is entirely different, and it's probably best I avoid. Thanks again for taking the time to compile this. :)
18th-May-2008 06:15 am (UTC)
Each to their own! I'm glad they're of value to you as well. :)

EDIT: Also thank you for your gracious and courteous response - I appreciate it a lot.

Edited at 2008-05-18 02:38 pm (UTC)
18th-May-2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, you're welcome! I'm glad I didn't come across as too "I'm not talking about this, so boo" - I've just had a few bad experiences with getting involved with these sorts of discussions, so, yes. Avoidy. :)
19th-May-2008 12:40 am (UTC)
Exactly the opposite! I was driving somewhere and found myself thinking that was a really good response - I should tell them.
18th-May-2008 05:24 am (UTC)
Percentage wise more men die. I would venture (having done *no* stats at all) that their deaths are more gory and that women's deaths are more likely to be sexualised - which I *have* run stats on and they are now listed in this post.

I think that the language used, some of the plot lines and the treatment of the recurring female characters does point to consistent sexist, violent and disrespectful treatment of women. I'm not even going to start in on the race issues. The former is a LOT harder to run stats on - although if someone wants to point me at a complete set of written scripts I can do some cool things in the way of common words analysis.
17th-May-2008 10:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you for all the work you put into this! I started one of these, but when I saw you were doing them, I gratefully stopped. It's kind of a dull slog through the shows, marking down deaths and evilnesses.

The problem with raw numbers, though, is that they don't get to the heart of the "skeevy race and gender issues" problem, at all.

HTH said it better quite some time ago, so I'mma quote her awesome post for any who are interested in why that is:
There are cases where you can give the EXACT SAME script/character arc/iconography/etc. to a white performer and to a performer of color, and the overall effect WILL BE DIFFERENT. Race is real. People respond to it, often on levels they aren't entirely aware of. So it actually misses the whole entire point of discussing race and racism if your sole defense is "but we're just treating them the exact same way we treat white characters!" It may be true, or it may not be true, but either way it's singularly useless.

Some fans seem to find gender easier to understand than race, so think of it this way: if there's a character that isn't very bright but always uses sexuality to manipulate other people, does it make a difference if that character is a man or a woman? Isn't it more of a stereotype in one case than in the other? And if some writer or producer said, "Oh, it's not sexist -- this is just what we were going to do, and we thought we might hire a male actor, but we went with a woman instead, so we kept the same stuff!" that doesn't magically make her not a sexist cliche, does it? If they'd cast a man, the character would read one way; when they do cast a woman, it reads differently. Same character. Different, because of the baggage we bring surrounding gender.
The fact that, proportionally, more men die than women actually does nothing to refute the claims that the show has skeevy gender issues. If there are proportionally more "good" POCs than Caucasians, that doesn't refute claims that the show has skeevy race issues. I don't know if that's what you were trying to do with the post, but I'm sure that's how many people will read it, so I just wanted to comment to that effect.

Also, you might consider adjusting the presentation of the numbers. It's not initially clear what the percentages are, why some are red, etc.

(Also, some of the total percentages are off by a percentage point. Being no math whiz nor statistics expert, I have no idea why that would happen or what difference it would make, but I just wanted to mention it in case it does matter.)
18th-May-2008 01:01 am (UTC)
Thank you for the feedback! You've made good points all, I've added the following notes.
  1. Not enough numbers for significant statistical analysis; certainly enough for case by case discussion.
  2. Totals do not always add to 100% - this is due to rounding.
  3. The numbers in red are highlighting any variation over 5%, this is for convenience and has no deep, mysterious statistical significance.
I'm providing numbers solely that there's a 'fact' point to come back to, people can make of them what they will. They give a basis to have more sophisticated conversation - which is what I'm hoping for.

Me personally, I think that the treatment of women comes out more in the language of the show and the characterisation of the recurring female characters, (for which I weep) which is not measured here.

The numbers in the 'Survived' category I interpret to mean that it is important in this show to show proportionately more women experiencing fear and pain.

I interpret the numbers in the People of Colour category to mean that PoC are being written as stereotypes rather than written as people. Magical Negro for example.

And if some writer or producer said, "Oh, it's not sexist -- this is just what we were going to do, and we thought we might hire a male actor, but we went with a woman instead, so we kept the same stuff!" - people do that? I call that incredibly lazy writing.
18th-May-2008 04:26 am (UTC)
*nodsnods* I agree with all of this.

As for the last comment, I don't know that they do do that for gender, but it's a justification I've heard as regards characters of color. In trying to be "color blind", they wind up casting characters of color in roles that are problematic, because the roles wouldn't be problematic if a caucasian actor were cast in the role.
18th-May-2008 05:02 am (UTC)
Thanks for bringing these things up. I had forgotten how long it was since I first put it out for discussion and while they were sort of implicit back then, I didn't lay it out here.

angriest, who writes scripts had the gender problem recently and addressed it as a matter of course. I'm disappointed but not terribly surprised that there are script writers who do not.
18th-May-2008 01:40 pm (UTC)
*nitpick* actually, you have enough numbers in the gender breakdown for statistical analysis - a chi-squared test could be used, depending on what the actual question you are asking is (could also use it for the PoC breakdown, but because some of your count cells had less than 5 it wouldn't be very reliable). These are actually quite good numbers - there are many many scientific studies which don't have as many participants.
18th-May-2008 02:15 pm (UTC)
Come here my pretty one and talk sexy some more!
18th-May-2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
that's the perfect icon for this post!
thanks for putting these numbers together. i often wonder whether there's anyone on staff that pays attention to these things. the evidence points to no.
you've given me lots of food for thought. thanks again!
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